You nailed the interview. The internship placement you’ve been dreaming of is officially yours for the taking…all that’s left to do now is take care of the logistics. From purchasing plane tickets to obtaining any necessary vaccinations needed for travel, there are plenty of things to keep you busy as you prepare for your upcoming adventure.
One of the most important pieces of planning a successful internship is finding living accommodations during your stay. This may seem like a daunting task. After all, finding housing in your own home town can be tedious enough, the idea of finding living accommodations in an entirely different country can feel downright overwhelming.
Lucky for you, we’ve put together this step by step guide to help you find safe and affordable housing while you intern abroad.
Step 1: Start Researching Early
Don’t wait until the last minute to find housing during your internship. Depending on the city in which you will be interning, quality housing options may go fast. The earlier you are able to begin researching housing options, the greater chance you will be able to find high quality housing that meets both your location and financial needs.
Step 2: Contact Your Internship Supervisor
Many internship programs offer housing support to their interns. In some cases, housing is provided by the internship program. In other cases, they may be able to provide recommendations or match you with potential host families. Before you try to “figure it out” alone, start by contacting your program supervisor to see if and what support they offer when it comes to housing.
Step 3: Determine Your Housing Budget
If your internship does not provide you with complimentary housing, you’ll need to create a budget for your living expenses. Depending on your program, you may receive a stipend that can be put towards your overall housing expenses. This budget will help you determine what kind of housing options are accessible to you.
In creating your budget, make sure you consider the cost of rent, food, and daily travel expenses to and from your internship.
Step 4: Begin Research Housing Options
There are a variety of different options when it comes to internship housing. Some interns prefer to rent solo apartments while others may enjoy having a roommate. If you’re going to go the roommate route, try connecting with other interns in your program to see if anyone is willing to split housing expenses with you.
There are plenty of helpful websites that regularly list houses and apartments available for short-term rent. Here are a few good resources to get you started:
Another viable option for internship housing is a homestay. As the name implies, homestays involve staying in the home of a local individual or family. Homestay opportunities allow for a truly immersive cultural experience that you might not find living on your own.
If you are interested in a homestay option, here are a few resources you should check out:
Step 5: Beware Of Housing Scams
A common (and justified) fear for many looking for housing abroad, is the potential of being scammed by unscrupulous people taking advantage of unsuspecting and unknowing interns. Here are a few tips for avoiding potential housing scams:
- Use reputable listing sites (such as the ones mentioned above).
- Look for housing with positive reviews from previous tenants.
- Make sure there is a legal contract or lease in place before renting a house or apartment.
- Avoid housing with unusually high security deposits or unnecessary fees.
Step 6: Make Plans For Your Current Housing
An important, but often overlooked aspect of securing housing during your internship, is considering what to do with your current housing situation. Whether you are renting an apartment or own your own home, you may want to consider sub leasing or renting your home while you are away in order to avoid having two separate living expenses.If finances are not an obstacle and you’d rather not sublease your current home, you may still need to make arrangements for your mail delivery and potentially lawn care (if you happen to own your home).
Taking care of the logistical details for your upcoming internship can be an overwhelming (although necessary) process. This step by step guide will help you in your search for quality housing while you intern abroad. Before you know it, you’ll be off on the adventure of a lifetime!